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While the German Wehrmacht besieged Leningrad, Shostakovich wrote his ‘Leningrad’ Symphony. More than a million people died during the 28-month-long isolation of the city. Against this backdrop, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 became a symbol for the trapped Leningraders of their solidarity and will to survive. At its premiere and even more so at its first Leningrad performance on 9 August 1942, while the city was still under siege, the symphony was greeted with euphoric enthusiasm. The commentator at the live radio broadcast described the concert: "The whole hall stood up during the finale. You couldn't stay seated and listen. It was impossible."

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